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Google Earth in Google Earth in a Browser

Animated Google Earth in Google Earth in a BrowserSince the new Google Earth browser plugin was released last week, I’ve been trying hard to resist the temptation to simply throw giant KML files at it 🙂 . Instead focusing on stuff which wouldn’t be practical using regular Google Earth.

Anyway, I’ve cobbled together a simple interactive animation using the API.  Similar idea to my earlier (rather lame) bouncing Google Earth 3D model.

OK, it’s not very sophisticated, but the thing to note is this isn’t the Plugin running a KML time animation.  Instead, its a fully scripted animation, moving a standard  SketchUp model in real time. This means we can do several things which just aren’t possible in Google Earth:

  • Have options to change every parameter to do with the location and physics (Just location and drop height implemented at the moment). 
  • Include a range of camera settings to view the animation from different frames of reference. Notably a tracking camera, and some from the point of view of the moving 3D model  – very cool how well these work.

It’s a pretty flabby/messy piece of scripting at the moment,  but if anyone does want re-use any part of the script please feel free.

  1. June 2nd, 2008 at 14:50 | #1

    Heh! Lots of fun. Ok, here’s my couple of suggested tweaks – 1) allow higher for the maximum height; and 2) have a look down, but with the Earth model in view (may a few meters above the Earth model so you can see the Earth and the ground).

  2. June 2nd, 2008 at 16:14 | #2

    I’ve upped the altitude cap to 1000000m. Be some time before it hits ground.

    I actually did try following the model with a camera, but it completely disappeared above ~ 1km. Presumably GE’s clipping plane – e.g. GE doesn’t expect people to view models above that height so doesn’t bother displaying them. Have to see if there’s a workaround. Annoying otherwise.

  3. will
    April 17th, 2009 at 12:03 | #3


    I’m trying to experiment with this code with my own model using sketchup, to bounce other objects! I tried using this horse model:
    and downloaded the collada (kmz) file. I upload this to a server, and change the value of MODEL_URL.

    However, I get the error message ‘line:420 Error ‘model’ is null or not an object.

    Having looked at the contents of the kmz, the package is organised differently to your globe model, which I suspect is the cause of the problem. So far I have not been able to work out how to fix it. Any suggestions much appreciated.

  4. will
    April 17th, 2009 at 14:42 | #4

    correction to the previous comment: I no longer get the error, but the model does not appear (or perhaps is transparant?).

  1. July 15th, 2008 at 15:45 | #1
  2. December 20th, 2008 at 07:01 | #2